Ronnie O'Sullivan names his 'new favourite player' and predicts success in near future

November 30, 2022
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Phil Haigh ✍️  

2022 Cazoo British Open - Day 5
Sam Craigie has been catching the eye of late (Picture: Getty Images)

Ronnie O’Sullivan has picked out Sam Craigie as his ‘new favourite player’ after being impressed by the Englishman enough to tip him to win his first title in the next 12-18 months.

The world number 37 has been in good form of late, impressing in his run through UK Championship qualifying, before beating defending champion Zhao Xintong in York.

He backed that up with good wins over Stephen Maguire and Jamie Clarke in German Masters qualifying and arrives at the Scottish Open this week as a player to keep an eye on.

The Rocket has certainly been keeping an eye on the 28-year-old from Newcastle, and thinks he will be picking up some silverware in the near future.

‘He’s my new favourite player,’ O’Sullivan told Eurosport of Craigie. ‘I was looking down the ranking list the other day and there’s five or six players from [age] 27-32, the new good players and he’s definitely one of them.

‘I think he’s going to win a tournament in the next year or 18 months. He’s got a great cue action. I like his game a lot.’

Unsurprisingly Craigie also has some compliments for O’Sullivan, saying during the UK Championship that playing the world champion presents a uniquely difficult challenge in the game.

‘On his own level, you can’t even describe it,’ Craigie told the Mirror of the Rocket. ‘You play some of the other top players and they just don’t put you under that sort of pressure.

‘I don’t know how he does it – he’s just got something and gives off his energy that puts you bang under it.’

Craigie’s run to the UK Championship quarter-final, where he was beaten by eventual champion Mark Allen, was just his second trip to the last eight of a ranking event.

However, he is now as high as he has ever been in the rankings and O’Sullivan is backing him to make a serious breakthrough either this season or next.

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